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Messages - Decato

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News / The Amazing Spider-Man 3D official trailer!
« on: February 07, 2012, 04:27:17 PM »
Yep, here's the new trailer for the film: The Amazing Spider-Man. The movie may be in 3D, hell if the trailer is, though!

News / Doctor Who: Galaxy Four by William Emms (review)
« on: February 07, 2012, 12:53:08 PM »
With the amazing discovery of a missing episode 3 of this William Hartnell story, 'Galaxy Four', from 1965 this is once again in the headlines. It survives in almost complete form on audio and it is presented here with linking narration by Peter Purves who was Steven Taylor, one of the First Doctor's companions, who features in this audio.

Amazon sources close to the situation have told us that the company is planning on rolling out a retail store in Seattle within the next few months. This project is a test to gauge the market and see if a chain of stores would be profitable. They intend on going with the small boutique route with the main emphasis on books from their growing line of Amazon Exclusives and selling their e-readers and tablets.

The Diogenes Club / The band Rush goes steampunk too!
« on: February 07, 2012, 11:15:00 AM »
It sounds like the new Rush album, tentatively set for a spring release, is going for a steampunk vibe. Bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee says that the title track for ‘Clockwork Angels’ is shaping up to be another great epic track. Lee says that it’s connected to “a different kind of future and the whole aesthetic of steampunk, which is so cool.”

News / Doctor Who: Sound Effects (review)
« on: February 07, 2012, 06:25:18 AM »
Back in the days of vinyl, I occasionally saw the odd special effects album. I even bought a couple of the more generic ones. Uniquely, 'Doctor Who' is the only show I know of that has albums specifically made of its sounds effects with album's thirty tracks cover the end of the Jon Pertwee tenure and mostly the Tom Baker tenure. The noises are invariably machine and room noise from a variety of stories and that of a variety of weapons, including that of the Daleks.

News / Harrison Ford 'in talks' for Blade Runner sequel!!
« on: February 07, 2012, 12:42:13 AM »
Actor set to reprise role as Rick Deckard in Ridley Scott's forthcoming follow-up to his 1982 sci-fi classic, reports say.

Press Releases / Matt Smith proposes to girlfriend at Doctor Who Experience
« on: February 06, 2012, 04:04:50 PM »
Matt Smith last night proposed to his long-standing girlfriend at the Doctor Who Experience in London. The marriage offer, which Matt had been planning for weeks (with some help from BBC Worldwide), came as a complete surprise to his girlfriend who was under the impression she was visiting the capital for a shopping trip.

The Doctor Who Experience at London’s Olympia, a walk through exhibition where the Doctor takes you on a spectacular adventure though time and space, has already been enjoyed by over 200,000 fans both young and old, and was chosen by Matt as the perfect setting for his proposal to girlfriend and avid Doctor Who fan, Stacie-Anne Dilkes, 23. The attraction is in the final three weeks of its year-long London run.

Matt, 22, from Rochford, Essex coincidentally shares the same name with the star of the globally successful BBC TV series and even chose to dress in a tweed jacket and bow tie for the occasion, the standard uniform of the Eleventh Timelord. He stunned his wife-to-be by pretending to be an exhibit in a section of the Experience which hosts original props, costumes and monsters from almost 50 years of the programme – before bending down on one knee and asking for her hand in marriage. And happily, she said YES!

Matt Smith, who plays the real Doctor, instead of protesting at this apparent, albeit brief identity theft, was also in on the surprise and sent a personal message of congratulations to the happy couple, commenting: "Matt Smith proposing to his girlfriend! Firstly, being a Smith means phone calls to the bank take so much longer - there are so many Smiths!! But I bet none of them have proposed at the Doctor Who Experience! Amy and Rory would be proud. Next - babies in the TARDIS...? Congratulations to you both and many years of happiness. Love, Matt.”

Press Releases / Shooting has begun on the sci-fi thriller Riddick
« on: February 06, 2012, 12:17:17 PM »
The latest chapter of the saga that began with 2000's sci-fi film Pitch Black and 2004's The Chronicles of Riddick reunites writer/director David Twohy (A Perfect Getaway, The Fugitive) and star Vin Diesel (the Fast and Furious franchise, xXx).  Diesel reprises his role as the antihero Riddick, a dangerous, escaped convict wanted by every bounty hunter in the known galaxy.

The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless.  Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he's encountered.  The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty.

The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of merc, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal.  With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won't leave the planet without Riddick's head as their trophy.

Riddick also sees the return of Karl Urban (Star Trek, The Bourne Supremacy) as Vaako and introduces to the series Jordi Molla (Bad Boys II, Colombiana) as Santana, the arrogant captain of the mercenary ship; Matt Nable (Killer Elite) as Boss Johns, a man looking for answers; Katee Sackhoff (TV's Battlestar Galactica) as the Nordic mercenary Dahl; and Bokeem Woodbine (upcoming Total Recall) as bounty hunter Moss.  Rounding out the cast are Dave Bautista (The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption), Conrad Pla (Immortals), Raoul Trujillo (Apocalypto), Nolan Funk (TV's Aliens in America) and two-time Grammy Award-nominated singer Keri Hilson.

The film is produced by Vin Diesel (upcoming Fast & Furious 6, Fast Five) and executive produced by Samantha Vincent (Fast Five, Fast & Furious) for One Race Films.  Ted Field (The Last Samurai, Pitch Black) produces for Radar Pictures, while Mike Drake (Dream House, A Nightmare on Elm Street) also executive produces.

Twohy is joined on the film by a behind-the-scenes team including director of photography David Eggby (Pitch Black, Mad Max), production designer Joseph Nemec III (A Perfect Getaway, The Hills Have Eyes, Terminator 2:  Judgment Day) and editor Tracy Hall (Limitless, A Perfect Getaway, The Flock).

The Riddick franchise has also produced two video games: The Chronicles of Riddick:  Assault on Dark Athena and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.  As well, Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released the anime DVD The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury.

Riddick, which is shooting in Montreal, Canada, is a One Race Films production.  The film will be released by Universal Pictures in the U.S., and Lionsgate is handling international sales.

One Race Films, founded in 1995 by writer, director, producer and actor Vin Diesel, has produced the two highest-grossing films in the Fast and Furious franchise, Fast Five as well as Fast & Furious.  He has directed Multifacial, Strays, Los Bandoleros and the digital series The Ropes.  Previously, ORF launched multiple franchises in the action space including the science-fiction thriller Pitch Black and the follow up Chronicles of Riddick, along with the hit xXx.  Reaching beyond the action genre, One Race developed and produced the courtroom drama helmed by filmmaker Sidney Lumet, Find Me Guilty.  In addition to a thriving film production company, ORF launched a gaming company in 2002, Tigon Studios, which has produced three console titles including The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and original property The Wheelman.

News / Alien Contact edited by Marty Halpern (book review)
« on: February 06, 2012, 10:19:28 AM »
'Alien Contact' is a fantastic achievement on the part of the editor, publisher and the authors whose work is included. In my opinion, this is one of those essential anthologies; every half way serious Science Fiction fan should own a copy. It would be well worth the money at twice the price.

News / Doctor Who: Destiny Of The Daleks by Terry Nation (review)
« on: February 06, 2012, 07:51:19 AM »
With this story, 'Destiny Of The Daleks', Romana decides to regenerate and ceases to look like actress Mary Tamm and after some deliberation, takes the appearance of actress Lalla Ward. Within the TARDIS, time is flexible enough to play around with the changes.

News / SF author John Christopher, died last night at the age of 89.
« on: February 06, 2012, 07:40:27 AM »
British author Samuel Youd, who wrote SF as John Christopher, died last night in Bath, England, at the age of 89. As John Christopher he wrote the the popular YA trilogy The Tripods, beginning with The White Mountains.

News / Captain America & the Sandman's creator dies aged 89
« on: December 15, 2011, 12:38:25 PM »
Joe Simon, legendary Golden Age co-creator of such characters as Captain America, the Sandman, the Fly, and hundreds more, has died at age 98, according to his son’s posting on Facebook.

Press Releases / NASA detects 'heartbeat' of smallest Black Hole candidate
« on: December 15, 2011, 12:37:08 PM »
An international team of astronomers has identified a candidate for the smallest-known black hole using data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The evidence comes from a specific type of X-ray pattern, nicknamed a "heartbeat" because of its resemblance to an electrocardiogram. The pattern until now has been recorded in only one other black hole system.

Named IGR J17091-3624 after the astronomical coordinates of its sky position, the binary system combines a normal star with a black hole that may weigh less than three times the sun's mass. That is near the theoretical mass boundary where black holes become possible.

Gas from the normal star streams toward the black hole and forms a disk around it. Friction within the disk heats the gas to millions of degrees, which is hot enough to emit X-rays. Cyclical variations in the intensity of the X-rays observed reflect processes taking place within the gas disk. Scientists think that the most rapid changes occur near the black hole's event horizon, the point beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape.

Astronomers first became aware of the binary system during an outburst in 2003. Archival data from various space missions show it becomes active every few years. Its most recent outburst started in February and is ongoing. The system is located in the direction of the constellation Scorpius, but its distance is not well established. It could be as close as 16,000 light-years or more than 65,000 light-years away.

The record-holder for wide-ranging X-ray variability is another black hole binary system named GRS 1915+105. This system is unique in displaying more than a dozen highly structured patterns, typically lasting between seconds and hours.

"We think that most of these patterns represent cycles of accumulation and ejection in an unstable disk, and we now see seven of them in IGR J17091," said Tomaso Belloni at Brera Observatory in Merate, Italy. "Identifying these signatures in a second black hole system is very exciting."

In GRS 1915, strong magnetic fields near the black hole's event horizon eject some of the gas into dual, oppositely directed jets that blast outward at about 98 percent the speed of light. The peak of its heartbeat emission corresponds to the emergence of the jet.

Changes in the X-ray spectrum observed by RXTE during each beat reveal that the innermost region of the disk emits enough radiation to push back the gas, creating a strong outward wind that stops the inward flow, briefly starving the black hole and shutting down the jet. This corresponds to the faintest emission. Eventually, the inner disk gets so bright and hot it essentially disintegrates and plunges toward the black hole, re-establishing the jet and beginning the cycle anew. This entire process happens in as little as 40 seconds.

While there is no direct evidence IGR J17091 possesses a particle jet, its heartbeat signature suggests that similar processes are at work. Researchers say that this system's heartbeat emission can be 20 times fainter than GRS 1915 and can cycle some eight times faster, in as little as five seconds.

Astronomers estimate that GRS 1915 is about 14 times the sun's mass, placing it among the most-massive-known black holes that have formed because of the collapse of a single star. The research team analyzed six months of RXTE observations to compare the two systems, concluding that IGR J17091 must possess a minuscule black hole.

"Just as the heart rate of a mouse is faster than an elephant's, the heartbeat signals from these black holes scale according to their masses," said Diego Altamirano, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands and lead author of a paper describing the findings in the Nov. 4 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The researchers say this analysis is just the start of a larger program to compare both of these black holes in detail using data from RXTE, NASA's Swift satellite and the European XMM-Newton observatory.

"Until this study, GRS 1915 was essentially a one-off, and there's only so much we can understand from a single example," said Tod Strohmayer, the project scientist for RXTE at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Now, with a second system exhibiting similar types of variability, we really can begin to test how well we understand what happens at the brink of a black hole."

Launched in late 1995, RXTE is second only to Hubble as the longest serving of NASA's operating astrophysics missions. RXTE provides a unique observing window into the extreme environments of neutron stars and black holes.

The Diogenes Club / Thy fearful gadgetry: Steampunk’s mad scientists
« on: December 15, 2011, 12:27:44 PM »
While crafting typewriter key arm guards, goggles, clockwork corsets and mechanical replacement arms in his workshop, Brute Force Studios owner and craftsman Thomas Willeford often reaches what he likes to call the “Tony Stark point.”

News / The Amazing Spider-Man - photos from the movie!
« on: December 15, 2011, 08:14:01 AM »
Here's the latest suite of photos from the next Spidey reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man. Directed rather appropriately by Marc Webb! As you can see, this film intends to focus on Peter Parker developing his abilities in high school.

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